All-stars who hurt their draft stock
In the second part of our All-Star game review, the National Football Post breaks down the prospects who did nothing to help their draft stock the past two weeks at the East-West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl.
QB Sean Canfield, Oregon State
There’s no denying that Canfield can be accurate and on time with the football when asked to complete throws inside the numbers. However, it quickly became obvious last week at the Senior Bowl that he lacks the arm strength needed to make big-time NFL-caliber throws outside the numbers. He showcases good timing and anticipation down the field, but his skill set screams backup quarterback and game manager only.
WR Danario Alexander, Missouri
Alexander’s performance at this year’s Senior Bowl solidified my opinion about him in terms of NFL potential. He’s a tall, long-armed receiver who builds speed as he goes, but it takes him far too long to reach top-end speed off the line. He also struggles to beat press coverage and lacks the balance to generate much acceleration out of his breaks. He doesn’t look like a starting-caliber wideout to me, as I see him more as a No. 4-type receiver who needs to work almost exclusively off the line from the slot.
C Eric Olsen, Notre Dame
Olsen not only failed to exhibit the type of power needed to anchor vs. the bull-rush inside, he also lacked the type of lateral fluidity needed to mirror in space and was consistently manhandled during Senior Bowl practices. He did get a bit better as the week went on, and maybe he just needed time to get his feet wet, but for the most part, watching him try to hold his own in pass protection wasn’t pretty.
OT Chris Marinelli, Stanford
Another offensive lineman who struggled to hold his own in pass protection at his respective all-star game was Stanford’s Marinelli. He looked slow-footed out of his stance, struggled to maintain balance into blocks and lacked the base needed to anchor on contact. He’s a tall, long-armed kid who can stick to blocks once he gets his hands on you, but best case scenario, he looks like a versatile swing backup in the NFL.
DE Brandon Lang, Troy
Lang is another prospect who makes me wonder what all the hype is about. He isn’t an explosive athlete off the edge and failed to generate much of a push on his bull-rush during Senior Bowl practices. On tape, he displays some push/pull ability, but he was unimpressive vs. the upper echelon talent he faced in Mobile, and I came away thinking he’s just a reserve-type lineman in the NFL.
CB Devin Ross, Arizona
For a guy who showcases as much closing speed as Ross in coverage, you’d think he would be able to make more plays on the football. However, he isn’t a real instinctive corner and consistently gets caught bailing out of his back-pedal and opening his hips too early in his drop. There’s no doubt this guy has the ability to play on the outside at the next level from an athletic standpoint, but as of now he simply gives up too many plays and lacks the instincts to be trusted on an island in the NFL.
CB Trevard Lindley, Kentucky
At this point, I feel like I’m beating a dead horse, but the idea that Lindley was ever considered a potential starting-caliber corner in the NFL blows my mind. He isn’t a real gifted athlete, struggles to get up to speed quickly and is as raw and leggy with his footwork as they come. Plus, he isn’t physical in press coverage and looks nothing more than a border-line roster guy.
FS Robert Johnson, Utah
On tape, when Johnson is asked to play in a center field-type role, find the football and create collisions on contact, he will open some eyes. However, besides the fact he possesses rail-thin legs, Johnson really struggles to turn and run with any kind of speed down the field and takes too long to transition out of his breaks. He does display decent overall balance in his drop for his size, but he doesn’t have the type of range to hold his own in coverage at the next level.
SS Kurt Coleman, Ohio State
Coleman is, without a doubt, a football player; he’s tough, instinctive and can redirect and find the ball in space. However, he simply doesn’t have the type of burst needed to quickly get from point A to point B and lacks ideal size for the strong safety position. At 5-10, 187 pounds, Coleman isn’t athletic enough to play corner or big enough to play safety in the NFL. He does look like a guy who can fight his way onto an NFL roster on special teams and might be able to mature into a nickel/dime-type back with time, but his play was average at best at last week’s Senior Bowl.
SS Kyle McCarthy, Notre Dame
I wish I could give the same type of review to McCarthy as I did to Coleman, but watching McCarthy try to cover and play in space was painful. The guy is stiff, slow to get out of his breaks and showcases no semblance of a second gear down the field. It was a pure mismatch any time he was asked to play in man-coverage last week, and he looks like a special teams guy at best. However, you’d have to think an NFL team would want to put a better athlete on its special teams unit than McCarthy.
FS Taylor Mays, USC
There’s no denying that Mays is a gifted straight-line athlete who has the range to track the football in space once he gets going. However, he was stiff and leggy in coverage all last week and takes far too long when asked to break down and drive on the ball. He was consistently forced to gather himself out of his drop and was significantly late arriving to the ball. Don’t get me wrong – there’s a place for Mays at the next level, but the notion that he’s a dynamic ball-hawking safety in the Sean Taylor mold is completely off base. If fact, I think he’s closer to Buccaneers safety Sabby Piscitelli than he is Taylor.
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